Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/145

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Reviews. 119

Hottentots on the other. More numerous and more powerful than the Hottentots, they swarmed down, tribe after tribe, over the table-land and along the coast until they had occupied the larger part of the centre and the eastern slopes, driving the Bush- men and the earlier immigrants of their own race into the more arid and undesirable spots. But for the advent of the Europeans they would doubtless have destroyed the Hottentots and the Bushmen, and become undisputed masters of the whole country. In the Europeans, however, they found more than their match. By their aid the annihilation of the Bushmen is now almost complete. The Hottentots only survive as a separate people in Great Namaqualand and along the banks of the Vaal and Orange rivers, near their junction; and their language is gradually dying out, supplanted chiefly by Dutch. But the Bantu themselves have become a subject-race, whose ancestral customs and institu- tions are in decay, though their numbers are multiplying to such an extent that their relations with the dominant race have given rise to the most difficult questions of South African polity, the solution of which will demand the highest statesmanship.

Able and lucid, however, as is Dr. Theal's discussion of the pre-history of the native populations, and his account of their customs, beliefs, and institutions, they would have been of much greater service if they had been accompanied by constant reference to authorities. The retrospective portion of the work is indeed furnished with some references, the chapter on the Mohammedan writers especially ; and it is no small advantage to have the latter quoted as they are in full. Much also of the presentation of the Bantu culture is doubtless derived from the distinguished author's personal enquiries. Still, the Bantu tribes differed so widely among themselves in their customs, that it is difficult to know to what tribes any specific statement really applies. Proper references would have enabled the reader to ascertain this.

Dr. Theal bases his account of the reverence of various Bantu tribes for animals exclusively on their cult of the dead ; and he ignores its relation to similar practices elsewhere, as in Australia and North America, where the cult of the dead is more feebly or hardly at all developed. The paragraphs devoted to the subject are taken bodily, (as indeed is much of his chapters describing